FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Jessica Burress is a senior at Northside High School. She’s had an interest in aviation ever since she was little.
"Whenever an airplane or a helicopter would go by, I would always just stop what i was doing and look up...Then a few years ago when we went to the Three Rivers Festival, my mom paid for us to go on the helicopter for a little short fly around and I definitely caught the aviation bug then," Burress said.
With graduation just a few weeks away, she began to fly towards her future today, being the first student from Fort Wayne Community School to go on a STEM Flight.
Retired Brigader General David Brubaker is the creator of STEM Flights, after a career as a fighter pilot in the Air Force. He explained, "STEM Flights basically got started from flying kids as sort of a part time effort and involving them in the flight."
He wanted to ensure the future of the United States by teaching students about aviation.
The concept of STEM flights is simple, students going up with a pilot are given a checklist of tasks to do during the flight with the goal of engaging them in different aspects of aviation.
Those tasks include this like instrumentation reading, making calls to the tower, and aerial recognition, taking FWCS’s Career Academy aviation maintenance program one step further.
Career Academy Principal and Director Jesse Webb said, "If they have an interest in flying or dealing with airplanes, then we’ll connect them with stem flights and have that set off."
STEM Flights is a program that’s totally free for the Career Academy, hopefully helping students find a STEM field they like, and they did that today with Jessica, hopefully becoming a pilot someday.
"I would love to do that for the rest of my life," Jessica said.